Many students consider getting involved in research during undergrad. Research is a highly valued experience in many fields, and if you’re considering pursuing a graduate degree in the sciences, research experience is crucial. Beyond the skills you gain in your specific research discipline, participating in research also enables you to build skills that will make you a stand-out candidate in any field. Here are 5 success skills you gain through research experience that you can market to employers:
- Communication Skills: Through research you have the opportunity to build communication skills as the member of a team, but also through opportunities to present and publish your research.
- Critical Thinking: Research pushes you to think critically in order to answer your research questions and navigate unexpected challenges you encounter as you work.
- Intellectual Independence: Research doesn’t have a syllabus! Research helps you think on your feet as you work independently to find solutions and it demonstrates to employers that you are motivated and engaged in academic learning.
- Collaboration: Research often involves working in collaboration with others. Whether it is delegating different parts of an experiment, managing lab cleanliness, or writing publications; the ability to work with others is important.
- Persistence: Failure is part of the process. In order to achieve your goals and answer tough research questions, you have to keep going.
Through research experiences, you will gain many skills and examples that you will be able to articulate to future employers and graduate school admissions committees.
How can you get involved in research? There are many ways to do this, even early on in your academic career. First, talk to your professors about their research. You can usually learn about research being conducted by your faculty by looking at the department’s website, conducting a google scholar search for their work, and just talking to them about it. Do your homework ahead of time so you are able to connect your research interests with their work prior to meeting with them. Another way to get involved in research as an undergraduate is through the Undergraduate Research Center! Located in the University Union, the URC can connect you to opportunities to participate in research during the academic year, as well as in the summers. You can learn more about Creative Activities and Research Opportunities on their website. There are also opportunities for undergraduate students to publish their work in Alpenglow, Binghamton University’s Undergraduate Journal of Research and Creative Activity.